In this new series Gaeil UK, award winning journalist, Seán Mac an tSíthigh, travels from Glasgow to London in the UK, to meet with various generations of the Irish community living in Britain.
Separated by only 60 miles and with a complicated shared history, the Irish are the single largest immigrant community in the United Kingdom. There are over 6 million people in Britain who claim an Irish grandparent and over 500,000 people living in Britain were born in Ireland. On his journey Seán meets with the many generations of Irish immigrants who now called the UK home. The long established Irish community have deep roots in the UK and have assimilated into every aspect of life there while continuing to preserve their own very distinctive Irish identity.
Programme 1 – Liverpool, Leeds & Huddersfield
In the first episode Sean Mac an tSíthigh arrives in Liverpool, the entry point to Britain for millions of Irish, a city with a long established Irish community. From here he travels across the Pennines to Yorkshire – to Leeds and Huddersfield; where after the Second World War thousands and thousands of Irish men and women arrived to help re-build a shattered country. While cities and towns like Leeds and Huddersfield might no longer be popular destinations for young Irish immigrants, the large 2nd and 3rd generation Irish community continue to have a strong and unique presence here.
Programme 2 – Scotland
In the second episode Seán ventures North to Glasgow to meet the large Irish community living there. With a strong vibrant Donegal presence in the city, Seán speaks with Hudie Ó Fearraigh about the many changes he has seen in the city over the years, before Hudie returns home permanently to Gaoth Dobhair. Seán visits the set of a new and emotive stage production based on the tragic deaths of ten young potato pickers from Mayo who died in 1937 in a fire on a farm in Kirkintilloch. Seán then gets an insight into the Irish, Catholic charitable ethos that still remains strong in the education system.
Programme 3 – Birmingham & the Midlands
In the third episode Seán heads to the British midlands to meet the large Irish community living there and discovers how the unique Irish support network helps those in the Irish community most in need. While in Birmingham he revisits a dark period for the Irish community in the city when the IRA bombing campaign meant a difficult time for the Irish in Britain. Becoming a professional footballer in England is a dream held by many Irish youngsters, while thousands have failed Sean meets with one Irishman who finally fulfilled that dream after many attempts.
Programme 4 – London
In the final episode of the series, Seán arrives in London to meet the long established Irish community living there. For decades large parts of London such as KiIburn, Cricklewood, and Camden Town were identified as being Irish, and though these areas are no longer predominately Irish they remain very much part of the Irish identity in the city. Seán finds a vibrant and deep rooted community on both sides of the Thames where their talents and culture are well respected. The Irish are now to the fore in the city and can benefit from all that London and Britain can offer.
Note for Editors:
Seán Mac an tSíthigh Is available for interviews on request
Link to video promo: https://grabyo.com/g/v/iiPFhhJ8X1P
Cast: Séamus Conneely, Tom Togher, Edel Robinson, Sadie Cunningham, Kathleen Cunningham, , Labhrás Ó Conghaile, James McDonald, Méabh Nic Alastair, Kate O’Connor, Muireann Kelly, Hudie Ó Fearraigh, Padraig McGarvey, Eileen Tompkins.
For further information please contact
Series Producer: Seán Ó Cualáin, Aniar: firstname.lastname@example.org 087 9480684
TG4 Press: Linda Ní Ghríofa – email@example.com; (087)9172864
Aniar have offices in Gaoth Dobhair, Corca Dhuibhne & Conamara